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US Senator Proposes Bill To Eliminate Overtime For IT Workers

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the us-senator-also-can't-seem-to-get-her-email-anymore dept.

Businesses 1167

New submitter Talisman writes "Kay Hagan (D) from North Carolina has introduced a bill to the Senate that would eliminate overtime pay for IT workers." The bill is targeted at salaried IT employees and those whose hourly rate is $27.63 or more. It seems comprehensive in its description of what types of IT work qualify — everything from analysis and consulting to design and development to training and testing. The bill even uses "work related to computers" as one of the guidelines.

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I am planning to move to NC (4, Interesting)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236776)

And if this idjit is still there, I know I am voting THEM out. What a maroon.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (5, Informative)

JustNiz (692889) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236816)

3 of the 4 co-sponsors for the bill are republican:

Michael Bennet [D-CO]
Scott Brown [R-MA]
Michael Enzi [R-WY]
John Isakson [R-GA]

Re:I am planning to move to NC (1, Informative)

wizkid (13692) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236844)

I should have known bennet would be there. I DIDN'T VOTE FOR HIM! He's a bozo!

Re:I am planning to move to NC (5, Informative)

an00bis (667089) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236958)

nobody voted for him, he was appointed to replace salazar

Re:I am planning to move to NC (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236868)

Yes, because circling those Party Loyalty wagons is always more important than anything else. That's woprked out SO FUCKING WELL for the country.

Fuck you, you blithering tool. OP didn't even mention Party affiliation. Asshat.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236970)

No, the person he was responding to just said they were going to vote "THEM" out of office. The story submitter is the one who pointed out that it was a Democrat who submitted it - JustNiz was pointing out that it wasn't a party based bill, but a "particular idiots" bill. If anyone's a blithering tool here AC, it's you. But then, since you were totally OK with them getting slammed based on party when it was only a Democrat, and only got angry once it was pointed out that Republicans were also involved, you're probably just another tea-bagger moron.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237076)

So you are saying that 3 out of the 5 Senators are republic. Point being?

If Republicans and Democrats were assigned randomly to the bill, this and a 3/2 split in favor of the Democrats would be the most likely outcomes (assuming a 50/50 senate).

Re:I am planning to move to NC (5, Informative)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237178)

Also it is currently in the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee so if one of the following is your senator you might want to contact them to have it killed:

Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD)
Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Bernard Sanders (I) (I-VT)
Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-PA)
Kay R. Hagan (D-NC)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Al Franken (D-MN)
Michael F. Bennet (D-CO)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
Richard Burr (R-NC)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Rand Paul (R-KY)
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT)
John McCain (R-AZ)
Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Mark Kirk (R-IL)

Re:I am planning to move to NC (0)

Enry (630) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237184)

Scott Brown [R-MA]

Way to keep the IT workers in MA on your side.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236830)

Tell you what... I will vote against her for you.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (1, Informative)

EricWright (16803) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236874)

I'll admit it ... I voted for her in 2008. Won't make that mistake again in 2014.

That bill doesn't impact me; I'm salaried and already classified as Exempt. But I know a lot of hourly folks, both full-time (like help desk, etc.) and consultants that this would negatively impact.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (3, Interesting)

show me altoids (1183399) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236912)

Now, does this mean that a company CAN'T pay them overtime or that they're NOT REQUIRED to pay them overtime? There's a big difference.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (3, Insightful)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236954)

No, there is only a semantic difference.

If they're not required to pay overtime, none will pay overtime.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (4, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237096)

I'm not sure I get this logic; if that were true, then we could also expect that companies could pay IT workers only minimum wage and still have takers. Overtime compensation is part of the negotiation process.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (4, Insightful)

Ironhandx (1762146) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237180)

Most individuals suck at negotiating. This is a large part of the reason Unions were born in the first place.

Re:I am planning to move to NC (4, Informative)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237084)

Technically it means that they are no longer required to pay overtime, but realistically how many employers in a down economy where there is a surplus of workers will do more than they are required to.

why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236784)

How does this make sense for govn't.. isn't this a Private sector issue?

Re:why? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236852)

I work for the government and we get paid OT and comp time.

Re:why? (5, Insightful)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236950)

How does this make sense for govn't.. isn't this a Private sector issue?

It *is* a private sector issue. You see, people who wanted to pay less for IT guys bribed these senators to pass this bill. The senators rubbed their hands together and agreed. Now they each have a new car.

Re:why? (3, Insightful)

CyclistOne (896544) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237070)

Yeah, but the private sector owns the gov't.

Re:why? (5, Informative)

LeanSystems (2513566) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237074)

How does this make sense for govn't.. isn't this a Private sector issue?

I have worked my way up from Network Tech to Director of IS... so I made the switch from hourly (non-exempt) to salary (exempt) and since then have had to deal with who is and isn't exempt.

It all comes down to what positions are considered "professional". My take on the subject has usually been that if the employee has the type of work that is difficult to measure and determine if they are truly working hard or stretching it out, then they are exempt. Exempt employees are expected to know what amount of work is truly needed and get things done in the least effort possible.

As a competent sys-admin, do you need to parse all 100MB of that log to determine the root cause of the error? How exactly does the boss know you did or didn't need to (yes a competent manager should have a clue, but it's more difficult than you think). Programming is the same way... I could hack it and get it out in a week, or be so damn picky it takes a year.

My position has usually been that people in these positions are able to determine what level of work is need to satisfy customer demand and not do unnecessary work. BUT, it is always a judgement call with IT. If you get it wrong, make a guy salary, make him work 60 hours to get a project out and he then sues, you can be held liable for back pay.

It is a difficult balance between leaving grey areas (because a lot of it is grey), and the government formally defining who is and isn't exempt. I would not immediately defame the Senator introducing the bill... they may actually be trying to do a good thing for employees. This is a messy area of personnel issues, and if they are successful in bringing clarity, all will benefit.

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237160)

How does this make sense for govn't.. isn't this a Private sector issue?

It's a government issue because the government defines what overtime means in the first place.

If it were purely left up to the private sector, people would still be routinely working 12 hour shifts 7 days per week for base wages, like they did in the 19th century before governments got involved.

You have got (5, Funny)

EW87 (951411) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236790)

to be kidding me. Let's see if we can get a vote up to lower THEIR pay.

Hurray.. ? (5, Insightful)

RenHoek (101570) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236798)

Hurray, no more working late!

Wait.. they still expect people to work without being compensated for their late hours?

Did EA send out lobbyists again with briefcases full of money?

Re:Hurray.. ? (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236866)

Of course not! It would be illegal to force people to work without pay.

Now, I think we all understand that, if hard choices have to be made, everybody likes a team player, yes?

Re:Hurray.. ? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236976)

Yep! That's why I play for the winning team. And the winning team treats employees with respect and therefore gets a quality 8 hours of work out of them. The losing team has me working for 16 hours and gets 6 hours of quality work + 10 hours of web surfing from me.

Which team is your company on?

Re:Hurray.. ? (2)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237002)

Just make up bullshit laws that put them in jail, then force them to work.

Re:Hurray.. ? (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237120)

We don't even need to do any 'making up'. The post-reconstruction South used pretty much exactly that tactic to keep their former chattel-class in its place, criminalizing all sorts of things, then renting the convicts out for labor. We can just dust off that body of law and get ready to go!

Re:Hurray.. ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236892)

My company hasn't paid me overtime for 6 years. And I can tell you by the two weeks I worked last week, that's not because I don't have to work OT.

Re:Hurray.. ? (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236906)

Someone did, probably IBM if you want to go oldschool or Google if you want new. That said, I'm not sure what big IT/CS centric companies are based out of NC, and her campaign contributions(per opensecrets) shows nothing obvious. Her most significant donors are lawyers, women, and retirees.

Re:Hurray.. ? (1)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237016)

I was wondering the same thing. It might just be lobbyists going after someone who they know won't be voted out of office to introduce the bill since if here most significant donors are awyers, women, and retirees then she should be safe.

Re:Hurray.. ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237032)

SAS is in NC, and large chunks of IBM, Cisco, GSK, lots of pharma presence...

Re:Hurray.. ? (3, Informative)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237038)

Red Hat is out of NC, Cisco has a few offices in NC as well. I have met a few IT workers from that area and they seem to get treated worse then the ones around the NYC metro area do.

Re:Hurray.. ? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237140)

(Posting Anon as IBM employee. Opinions are my own, I don't speak for them etc etc)

I've worked for IBM in two countries. I have been paid overtime in neither one. The flip side of this is that I haven't been expected to work ovetime.

Sure, I've put in a few extra hours at crunch time, but nobody forced me to. And crunch time means just that - a couple of weeks before an important deadline, if there's something critical needing fixing. Doesn't even happen every release, or every year.

As far as I can tell, Big Blue respect the whole concept of work/life balance, and having people well rested and working sensible hours. I doubt very much they would have lobbied for this.

Another Good Move--Not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236806)

Well it should be obvous who supports the middle class here! If you want a good job vote this man OUT!

Re:Another Good Move--Not (4, Informative)

Sez Zero (586611) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236884)

If you want a good job vote this man OUT!

I think you mean, "vote this woman OUT".

Sure looks like... [senate.gov]

IT I$ CHEAP (1, Interesting)

ph4cr (775696) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236808)

Already living this. Welcome to the Sweat Shop Of The 21st Century!

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236814)

YES! Please shoot yourselves in the foot Stupid "Deamon-Crap" politicians! See how far you get on your campains with no tech support or information assurance!

All About The Unions (3, Insightful)

phantomcircuit (938963) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236822)

This would effectively make unions the only options for such workers.

Fucking scam artists.

Re:All About The Unions (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236930)

If you think that:
Michael Bennet [D-CO]
Scott Brown [R-MA]
Michael Enzi [R-WY]
John Isakson [R-GA]

Are in the pocket of big labor, I've got a bridge to sell you.

Now, in the broader sense of Nikolay Chernyshevsky's "The worse, the better" theory of what actually drives the poor to organize and/or unionize and/or devour the rich in an orgy of redistributive bloodletting, they may actually be more effective labor leaders than most actual labor leaders; but not in the direct sense...

Why IT workers? (5, Interesting)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236824)

IT work already has a terrible education:pay ratio and the pay is nothing special in relative terms, that's a strange sector to target...could it have something to do with outsourcing?

Re:Why IT workers? (1)

EW87 (951411) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236894)

Yeah, when I was doing sysAdmin work I got paid very well, and I don't have a degree or any certs. It's a weird field.

Re:Why IT workers? (2)

wezelboy (521844) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236956)

I think it has more to do with the fact that IT workers have no union.

Re:Why IT workers? (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237056)

Unless the wording of the amendment is a hell of a lot narrower through the eyes of somebody who has been to law school, it would appear that it could be stretched to include basically everyone who doesn't turn a funny color when the phrase "pivot table" is used. The heaviest fire is reserved for IT minions; but, given the computerization of contemporary businesses, virtually anybody who earns enough to be mentioned in the amendment and operates a turing-complete system more sophisticated than the coffee machine would potentially be included...

Good (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236834)

That means I get to go home at six, right?

Re:Good (1)

EW87 (951411) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237068)

And you get to turn the cell phone off!

Simple solution... (4, Insightful)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236838)

8 hours work for 8 hours pay.

Don't work for free, people. After all, you're just an employee to them, not a BFF.

I recently saw a guy who had worked at my current place of work get given the shove after nearly 20 years. Escorted him out of the building and everything. He sat in the pub blubbing like a baby and asking how they could be so cruel after everything he'd given them.

I've vowed never to work a minute past what I'm contracted to do, and if I have to I simply come in late the next day.

Re:Simple solution... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236938)

Amen brother.

I only take hourly paying jobs now. That salary shit wont fly with me.

I tried it once and it was the worst mistake I ever made.

Went from a 60k/yr hourly contract to a 48K salary position with supposedly similar pay in the form of A+ benefits like a 0% copay medical (yes zero) and free legal care and the list goes on.

I went from working 40hrs and getting regular overtime easily bringing 2400 after taxes every two weeks, to working 50-60 hour weeks with absolutely no recognition for $1450 twice a month.

The job lasted 4 months before I got the hell out of there back into a 70K hourly contract. FUCK THAT.

Re:Simple solution... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236948)

Yeah, I used to be a nut case, working 12 and 15 hour days for weeks on end... then I realized that morons who were producing shitty code and working 6 hour days + 2 hour lunches were getting the same promotions and pay increases I was, so that was a ME problem, not a THEM problem. ME is easier to fix than THEM.

8 hours work, 8 hours pay, pure and simple. Don't kill yourself over your job. If you love coding, join an open source project and contribute freely to the world, not your employer's pocket -- he/she probably doesn't care that you're working 12 hours -- you're being used.

Re:Simple solution... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237028)

The shop I work in is absolutely horrible about this. If you are salaried, no overtime pay- and you are expected to work 45+ hours a week and you are on call. And its not like the salary is great either.

tell us that place you worked (3, Interesting)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237046)

so if its some brand we have dealings with, we can avoid the whores ( i apologize from all sex sector workers) like the plague in our dealings.

Re:Simple solution... (3, Informative)

Thangodin (177516) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237170)

And Amen again. I worked at a high profile startup that went defect back during the dot.com days, working 60 to 100 hour weeks. I never got a penny of the back pay they owed me, and the guy who worked most of those hours with me died three years later from congestive heart failure caused by stress (he had an otherwise healthy lifestyle). So this isn't just about the quality of your life; it could mean the difference between life and death.

One SlashDot link... (5, Funny)

DigiJunkie (448588) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236854)

... and their site is down. If only they had some IT guys who could do overtime to bring it back up...


This is not a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236862)

The move is not as nefarious as your headline suggests. This bill is to fix a problem... if you pick up your smartphone and reply to an IT question after business hours, did you work overtime? Of course not. Definitions of being "on call" and responding to server hiccups, etc, should be between you and your employer and not part of some collective bargaining union crap that labels your email reply as "overtime".

Re:This is not a problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236928)

I disagree. Yes if you pick up your smartphone and answer an IT question after hours you most certainly did work overtime. If it is after hours.. work is OVER. and you took TIME to work.

Re:This is not a problem (3, Insightful)

jeff4747 (256583) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237022)

If you are doing work, you should get paid for it. Period.

If your employer wants to cheap out and go with "on call" instead of real staffing, they still get to pay for your labor.

Re:This is not a problem (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237088)

But that is work done beyond your normal 8 hours. Are you saying, that if the boss calls you 24 hours at day at home, he doesn't have to pay you even though your extending your expertise? Fuck that, these supports calls can go on an hour often multiple of times. You basically be working several (often large amount of) hours for free. Why shouldn't they get paid for the thing support they give, which is much like what they do normally at their job. You obviously never worked in most IT environments. Excessive offcalls is extremely common and time consuming (something much more then the job itself).

Re:This is not a problem (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237186)

Do you think that lawyers don't bill you when you call them?

Teh corporates roll on. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236864)

They will walk all over you as they please now.

Steal your rights, steal your democracy. Treat you as a slave.

They will trash your protests and spray you down.

Here comes the global fascist state.

I'd support this ... (3, Insightful)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236870)

... if it got rid of congressional pay and prevented IT workers from having to work more than 40 hours.

I'd support this ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236990)

if it also caps yearly income to 1 million US dollars. A cap of 4 million US dollars in assets should also be included.

This is madness (5, Insightful)

lc_overlord (563906) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236872)

$27.63 seems oddly specific
But with the amount of overtime pay in the IT community someone will pretty soon realize that unless people actually sometime work overtime to fix problems it won't be long before people start cutting up old tires to make body armour.

Re:This is madness (4, Funny)

brusk (135896) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237142)

How could it not be specific? It's a law. What did you expect, "25-30 bucks or so?"

What? IT Workers GET OVERTIME? (4, Interesting)

neowolf (173735) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236876)

That's like a fantasy for most of us.

Re:What? IT Workers GET OVERTIME? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237024)

So, you work in game development?

Re:What? IT Workers GET OVERTIME? (2)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237036)

Yes, but you have to sue to get it, and by the time you pay the lawyers, and get blackballed for life for the temerity to demand that you are paid for the work that you performed, then it is just not worth it.

Re:What? IT Workers GET OVERTIME? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237080)

That's like a fantasy for most of us.

The most of you eat grass and produce wool and meat, too?

Re:What? IT Workers GET OVERTIME? (5, Informative)

That_Dan_Guy (589967) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237124)

That's the law. Seriously, it is the law. Passed in 2003 amazingly enough.

The Califronia gov't description is the most clear. There is a Federal one too that is more difficult to read through but spells it out: IT workers get Overtime. Period.
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/FAQ_overtime.htm [ca.gov]

Screw this Senator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236888)

I work for the government, and I can tell you that when someone wants some weekend work done we're there. If its after hours and you're overseas and need help at 1AM when its like 3PM some place else, we're there. Now I understand leeching the government, but when so many of us are contractors I can't really say the actual WORKER sees that much of the cash. We don't. I'm not sure of all the reasons this is, but it is the truth nonetheless. If you would just hire people, say "You know, here's a 401K we're too broke to do pensions anymore" and move on we'd be better off. Maybe its more complex than this, I'm sure it is, but right now - this is absurd. Worst part is I'm a Democrat, and wincing at this.

Re:Screw this Senator (3, Insightful)

DECula (6113) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237198)

There are a lot of us, like you, that care about the quality of our work. To think
they can legislate something that actually should be between an individual and
his employer just proves we need to get over this "party" crap and start demanding
an IQ test of our politicians.

Seriously? (4, Interesting)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236900)

I've read the bill's text but I haven't ascertained any rationale for it. Clearly they think there is some cost savings to be realized, but where? All that will really happen is the skilled workers will get salaries/wages to offset the loss of overtime, leaving the less skilled and fresh grads with the less desirable pay/positions. The net result is less people will want to get into IT due to this new barrier to entry.

Welcome... (1)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236910)

...to the ranks of the salaried and professional employees where overtime pay is negotiable at a disadvantage, and often missing.

false assumptions (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236916)

News flash: Not all IT workers are either salaried or have an hourly rate of $27.63 or more. Living in the US midwest and in the current job market, I make less than that, and so do a lot of other people in IT. So the title is misleading due to myopia.

And when I was on salary, I didn't expect to be paid overtime, because I understood what "salary" meant: $X per year, divided into 26 pay periods.

since when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236920)

Overtime pay? In a tech job? Overtime there is much, overtime pay - not so much. For most IT workers this wouldn't change things.

From TFA:

[People meeting these criteria] shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1)

No mention of overtime pay in there. Looks more like a clarification of contractor vs employee classification for tax purposes (meaning more tax liability for employers if more people are to "be considered an employee") if I read that right. IANAL

I'm no democrat but... (4, Interesting)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236924)

...this is still surprising to see this coming from someone with a D after their name. This is not because they are fundamentally more decent, but their usual constituency doesn't really seem to buy the "blame the middle class" argument, at least not as much. This seems like a really, really dumb idea, if for no other reason than the political fallout it will create.

yes. and it fools fools like you. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237128)

3 of the 4 sponsors of the bill are republican. go figure.

Suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236934)

If you work in IT, before or after this bill, you are a sucker. Plain and simple.

Whaaat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236940)

And a (D) has proposed this? She's trying to get attention. This will NEVER pass.

Re:Whaaat? (0)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237048)

Yes, $27/hr is $54k/year on a standard 2000-hour year. This is rich to the democrats, and these wealthy individuals deserve to be punished for their success.

Solution to a non-existent problem (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236944)

Aren't most IT workers exempt anyway? (Not that I think they necessarily should be, but still.)

Already there? (3, Interesting)

Ixne (599904) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236946)

This is already the case in our company; salaried employees are marked as "Exempt"... which means, exempt from getting paid overtime. How is this a government legislative issue??

Full text of the bill (4, Informative)

Bob the Super Hamste (1152367) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236966)

The bill is short so below is the full text from thomas.loc.gov [loc.gov] . For a congressional bill it is surprisingly readable.

To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to modify provisions relating to the exemption for computer systems analysts, computer programmers, software engineers, or other similarly skilled workers.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `Computer Professionals Update Act' or the `CPU Act'.


Section 13(a)(17) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. 213(a)(17)) is amended to read as follows:

`(17) any employee working in a computer or information technology occupation (including, but not limited to, work related to computers, information systems, components, networks, software, hardware, databases, security, internet, intranet, or websites) as an analyst, programmer, engineer, designer, developer, administrator, or other similarly skilled worker, whose primary duty is--

`(A) the application of systems, network or database analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine or modify hardware, software, network, database, or system functional specifications;

`(B) the design, development, documentation, analysis, creation, testing, securing, configuration, integration, debugging, modification of computer or information technology, or enabling continuity of systems and applications;

`(C) directing the work of individuals performing duties described in subparagraph (A) or (B), including training such individuals or leading teams performing such duties; or

`(D) a combination of duties described in subparagraphs (A), (B), and (C), the performance of which requires the same level of skill;

who is compensated at an hourly rate of not less than $27.63 an hour or who is paid on a salary basis at a salary level as set forth by the Department of Labor in part 541 of title 29, Code of Federal Regulations. An employee described in this paragraph shall be considered an employee in a professional capacity pursuant to paragraph (1).'.

Headline != Summary (2)

archer, the (887288) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236974)

Note that that the headline says the bill would eliminate Overtime, whereas the summary says Overtime Pay. I'm all for eliminating forced overtime, but overtime should be paid. Otherwise, you'll lose the good IT staff, and that can decrease the productivity of the whole organization. Isn't having 5 employees accomplishing 10% more work within a 40 hour week worth paying an IT technician for an extra 3 hours of work?

i think this might be a good idea if.. (4, Interesting)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 3 years ago | (#38236986)

I am going to take a page out of the great depression. the Kellogg cereal company during the great depression lowered the max hours one of their workers could work from 40 to 30 or so. while the people who were working at first did not like the lowering of their income they did like the effects it had on the city around the plant. kellogg to fill the gap hired more workers who in turn only worked the shorter amount of time, but it helped prop up the rest of the city. costs of food and the like there went down and even though the average income went down the people there including the people who had their hours cut ended up liking it. especially the increased time with their family. if they eliminate overtime and the position had scheduled overtime before they should then fill the gap by hiring someone else.

any REASONS given? DETAILS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38236998)

Like NO pay at all over 40 hours? Or no work and no pay? Or just no time-and-a-half? I make well over that amount as a contractor and no firm has ever paid 150% per hour after 40 (which is fine by me) but is this some kind of salary cap or does it just legalize what Ive already known to be mostly true - too expensive for 150%??? 10 sites and no specifics

The U.S. senate decides on overtime pay? (4, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237010)

Since I'm not from the U.S. I might have misunderstood something here, but does the U.S. senate really have the authority to change in employment contracts for the worse?

Where I live, the government can enforce things like minimum wages, but if my contract includes overtime pay, then the only way it can disappear is if my employer and I renegotiate the contract.

sucks ain't it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237012)

Any kind of over time here is illegal. And if you have to do it the employer has to pay 150% for regular work days and 200% for weekends and national holidays.
So, you guest it, not much overtime happening here.

What is overtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237018)

15 years in IT and I do not recall one job that paid overtime.

Karl Marx nailed this one (5, Interesting)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237030)

His theory of capitalism was, in a nutshell, that an employer's goal was to increase profit by increasing the amount they could make their workers work without paying them anything extra. Which is, of course, exactly what is being codified in this law.

Consider some widget that cost $300 to make $250 in materials and $50 for 1 worker to work 6 hours on it. But our capitalist wants to make more money, so he makes his worker work 12 hours instead of 6 (which the worker accepts, because being unemployed is so much worse), so now he has $600 worth of widgets, which are now $500 in materials, $50 in labor, and $50 in profit.

Regardless of what you think about communism, Marx's theories of capitalism need to be taken seriously, because the guy was predicting, in the 1870's, a lot of the economic behavior we see today.

What overtime? (1)

RedHat Rocky (94208) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237064)

Wait, some of y'all been getting overtime pay?


Not Congress's Business (4, Insightful)

jdpars (1480913) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237078)

I hate how Congress thinks it can legislate anything it wants, and whatever it can't legislate in can hold a "hearing" on and then impose some ridiculous punishment. Interstate commerce. It's not meant to be a gateway for doing whatever the hell you want, it's supposed to be highly restrictive and limiting.

$27.63? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237092)

Such an oddly specific number, why not round it up to $30?

Hourly? (2)

asylumx (881307) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237102)

There are hourly IT folks making more than $27.63/hr? I thought IT was predominantly salary/exempt because of this very issue...?

So....what? (4, Insightful)

dpaton.net (199423) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237104)

How is this different than the plight of software engineers, hardware engineers, or designers that work outside of the IT industry? How is it different than the legions of R&D folks that are listed as exempt employees?

I'm not saying it should happen. Far from it. But the real battle is that technical professions all over have been moved to exempt status and their employees continue to be forced to work exceedingly long days for 8 hours of pay. It's not the IT guidelines that need reform, it's the ones for all technical professions.

Open Secrets (2)

Digital Mage (124845) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237106)

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cycle=2012&cid=N00029617&type=I [opensecrets.org]

I don't see any obvious IT related industry donors from the past that might be influencing her (who knows about now). She is on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee so thats probably where it came from. Strange.

Canada, surprisingly, already has this... (2)

sco_robinso (749990) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237126)

It mostly goes province-by-province, but in my province (Alberta), IT technically does not qualify for overtime pay.

However, the reality is quite different. Our job market never really suffered the ill-affects of the recession, so things have remained pretty red-hot here. Unemployment is at 5.4%, and factoring in systematic unemployment, it's practically nill - help wanted signs everywhere. Employers would never actually get away with this here. If you pulled that crap on someone, they would simply leave, and make a bit more elsewhere. The job market here is incredibly competitive (given a labor shortage), you'd have no problems getting a job elsewhere.

While a company might not actually pay overtime, they'll still acknowledge it and let you take time off in lieu. I don't technically make overtime pay, but any time I spend over and above the normal 40 hrs/wk, I can take off elsewhere.

Has anyone looked for conflict of interest issues? (1)

AlphaBit (1244464) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237152)

What kinds of companies do Kay Hagan and the other sponsors invest in? I know there are supposed to be laws preventing congress members from knowing the composition of their portfolios, but I don't know enough about it to understand why those laws don't seem to have any effect.

Term Limits? (2)

Pewpdaddy (1364159) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237156)

How bout they stop worrying about our overtime pay, and start considering getting the career politicians out on the street.

verizon strike? (1)

radaghast (1672864) | more than 3 years ago | (#38237166)

I'm not sure how if this law applies in the event of a labor strike. But is this partially a response to the Verizon strike, where many employees who worked in their various NOCs were given massive overtime to compensate for the striking workers in the North East. I worked in the Cary, NC building, but I had just left the company before the strike occurred, so I don't know the specifics of how everyone got compensated for the overtime.

Information to fight back (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#38237176)

Senator Kay Hagan
521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Phone: 202-224-6342
Fax: 202-228-2563

According to govtrack.us, the bill is currently being examined by the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety (http://www.govtrack.us/congress/committee.xpd?id=SSHR11), so it may be worth your while to write to each of the 13 Senators on that committee. What they "decide" affects all of us, not only those whose states they represent.

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